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Approval Process Of International Tax Treaties By United States

Tom Kerester

Foreign countries across the world have intricate tax treaties with the United States, which include topics such as exchanging tax information with tax authorities. In order for these tax treaties to come to fruition, they must first pass through the Executive and Legislative Branches of the U.S. Government for approval.

The Secretary of the Treasury, part of the Executive Branch and appointed by the President, has the responsibility for negotiating federal income tax treaties with foreign countries. When negotiations are completed with a foreign country, the Treasury Secretary submits the negotiated treaty to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds public hearings on the proposed treaty, conducts mark-up sessions to possibly revise or amend the treaty, prepares a detailed Committee Report on any action the Committee may have taken for changes to the treaty, and finally schedules Senate floor debate on the Committee-reported bill. Under our constitution, the Senate has the power, by a two-thirds vote of the Senate to approve the treaty. The Senate-passed bill is then returned to the Secretary of the Treasury for final review, and then submitted to the President for approval and signature.

When publicly available, virtually all documents related to the treaties are posted on the web, including recently signed tax treaties, TIEAs (Technical Information Exchange Agreements), including the U.S. Model Income Tax Convention, and letters to Congress and testimony.

There has not been an approval to a tax treaty by the full Senate since 2010. Some of the reasons for this include objections to FATCA and the automatic exchanging of tax information between the U.S. and foreign tax authorities.

Below is the list of the tax treaties that the U.S. has with other countries (listed in alphabetical order).

Armenia (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Australia – 1982

Austria – 1996

Azerbaijan (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Bangladesh – 2006

Barbados – 1984

Belarus (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Belgium – 1970

Bulgaria – 2007

Canada – 1980

China – 1984

Cyprus – 1984

Czech Republic – 1993

Denmark – 2000

Egypt – 1980

Estonia – 1998

Finland – 1989

France – 1994

Georgia (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Germany – 1989

Greece – 1950

Hungary – 1979

Iceland – 1975

India – 1989

Indonesia – 1988

Ireland – 1997

Israel – 1975

Italy – 1999

Jamaica – 1980

Japan – 2003

Kazakhstan – 1993

Korea – 1976

Kyrgyzstan (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Latvia – 1998

Lithuania – 1998

Luxembourg – 1996

Malta – 2008

Mexico – 1992

Moldova (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Morocco – 1977

Netherlands – 1992

New Zealand – 1982

Norway – 1971

Pakistan – 1957

Philippines – 1976

Poland – 1974

Portugal – 1994

Romania – 1973

Russia – 1992

Slovak Republic – 1993

Slovenia – 1999

South Africa – 1997

Spain – 1990

Sri Lanka – 2002

Sweden – 1994

Switzerland – 1996

Tajikistan (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Thailand – 1996

Trinidad – 1970

Tunisia – 1985

Turkey – 1996

Turkmenistan (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Ukraine – 1994

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) – 1973

United Kingdom – 1975

United States Model – 2006

Uzbekistan (former USSR state covered by treaty) – 1973

Venezuela – 1999


Thomas Kerester

Tom Kerester knows how to connect the dots! Tom is working with TaxConnections to make a difference by getting people involved behind the scenes of the Ways and Means. We will take you on an educational journey through a series of blogs and show you how to get involved in making a difference in the new tax legislative policy under the President Trump Administration.

One thought on “Approval Process Of International Tax Treaties By United States

  1. Avatar John R. Dundon II, EA says:

    GrEAt post Thomas! Thank you.

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